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SALT and SODIUM and Your Health

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SALT and SODIUM and Your Health
SALT and SODIUM and Your Health

It is important to understand the role of salt and sodium in your health; especially when going through the process of bariatric weight loss surgery.  Dr. Kahlil Shillingford and his staff in South Florida enjoy and advocate for patients both pre and post weight loss surgery to understand nutrition and the role of electrolytes and hydration in the body.  Fighting obesity is not only about possibly having weight loss surgery but about proper knowledge and motivation to stay well.

People in the following groups are at risk of developing health problems related to salt consumption: People over age 50, people with diabetes or hypertension and people who struggle with obesity.

In most people, the kidneys have trouble keeping up with the excess sodium in the bloodstream. As sodium accumulates, the body holds onto water to dilute the sodium. This increases both the amount of fluid surrounding cells and the volume of blood in the bloodstream. Increased blood volume means more work for the heart and more pressure on blood vessels. Over time, the extra work and pressure can stiffen blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke,. It can also lead to heart failure. There is also some evidence that too much salt can damage the heart, aorta, and kidneys without increasing blood pressure, and that it may be bad for bones, too.

Sodium and potassium have opposite effects on heart health: High salt intake increases blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease, while high potassium intake can help relax blood vessels and excrete the sodium and decrease blood pressure.

Three important studies: Intersalt, TOHP and DASH trials all showed evidence of the importance of a balanced diet and the importance of monitoring salt consumption.  Stomach cancer and osteoporosis are related to excessive salt intake.  Reducing salt intake could slow the loss of calcium from bone that occurs with aging.

As one goes through the weight loss journey Dr Shillingford’s staff in Boca Raton, South Florida will be happy to further educate and give you resources to improve your knowledge of nutrition and health.